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Stepping Up: Mike Moore

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If several things fall right and he matures quickly, this could be the year Mike Moore establishes himself as another quality Wildcat linebacker.

Not exactly a flattering picture, but it's in a better place than that other one.
Not exactly a flattering picture, but it's in a better place than that other one.
Jamie Squire

If you subscribe to the theory that college football players make their biggest jump after their first year of adjusting to the faster game and more difficult practice routines, then you could make an argument Mike Moore (yes, his real name is Charmeachealle) will be one of the defense's breakout stars. He doesn't fit the mold exactly since he grayshirted, but he also played in 10 games and forced a fumble (against KU on a kick return, so it only half counts) as a true freshman, adding to his extensive potential demonstrated in his high school days.

On the other hand, it may take another year for him to truly blossom. After all, he still has to surpass linebackers like Jonathan Truman or Tre Walker on the depth chart, which is certainly no guarantee.

But on the other hand, that could be one of K-State's weakest linebackers corps in a while. If there's any time for a sophomore to break into the rotation, this would be it, so let's pretend he gets the job as an outside linebacker.

At 6-1, 217 pounds, he's a little smaller than ideal size. He'd have to make up for that with speed and physicality, both of which seem possible.

Kansas State's best linebackers have always been able to fly all over the field while never really appearing out of control, though Arthur Brown approached that in a good way on some occasions. Pass coverage will still be crucial for any Big 12 linebacker, so a significant challenge for Moore would be growing up quickly and showing good discipline.

It's unlikely anyone on this defense will reach 100 tackles, and that seems well beyond Moore's ceiling for this season. But given the opportunity, he could be a guy ready to surprise us with a big year a little bit ahead of schedule.